Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2009
Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Intense Tempranillo character is apparent in an elegant and pure wine only lightly influenced by the oak. Intensively fruity on the palate with a lingering, slightly dusty finish that promises excellent development in the bottle.
International Wine Cellar - "Dark ruby. Explosive aromas of dark berry and cherry preserves, with smoke, game and violet accents. Plush and expansive, offering spicy cherry and cassis flavors and notes of candied flowers and bitter chocolate. Vanilla and cracked pepper build with air and carry through a long, sappy and gently tannic finish. Incidentally, the 2008 bottling of this wine is drinking very well right now, with plenty of juicy dark berry character and brightening minerality; no rush to drink it but no crime to do so now, either.
Wine Spectator - "Juicy black cherry and red plum flavors mingle with notes of licorice, black pepper and toast in this firm, fresh red. Displays enough structure for food but remains balanced and lively."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Condado de Haza Crianza undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrique where it ages for 15 months. It offers a lovely ripe, yet controlled bouquet of raspberry, kirsch and incense that blossom with aeration. You can almost smell that Ribera warmth! The palate is very well balanced with fine tannins over-layering a sweet core of red fruit. It is playful and joyful, belying its fine structure and citric fresh finish. This is a wonderful wine from Condada de Haza."
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Condado de Haza Winery
In 1972, Alejandro Fernández and his wife Esperanza Rivera of Pesquera de Duero initiated the renaissance of Spain's Ribera del Duero appellation with the area's first modern wire-trained vineyard, their Viña Alta in Pesquera. In the mid-1980s as Tinto Pesquera was assuming its place among the most intriguing and powerful icons in the world of wine, Alejandro spied a neglected slope along the Duero River which had the appearance of being the most ideal vineyard site in the region, perhaps in all Spain: One full kilometer of southfacing mountain slope leading right to the river's edge. Ideal soils in the full range preferred by the Tempranillo variety, from gravel to clay with a chalky base, suggested the potential for a multitude of styles from this difficult grape, essential for creating the desired complexity and balance.
Abandoned for years, the slope consisted of hundreds of small parcels with separate and stubborn ownership. Three years of continuous negotiation beginning in late 1986 resulted in the first planting of just over 100 acres in 1989. Today the contiguous estate includes over 500 acres of prime Tempranillo vines. Encompassed within the historic county of the hilltop village Haza high above the opposite bank of the Duero, the estate was christened Condado de Haza.
Condado de Haza reflects the bold and brilliant winemaking style of Alejandro Fernández, unrivaled master of Spain's Tempranillo variety. Bottled after malolactic fermentation and 15 months in American oak, like Tinto Pesquera it can be enjoyed early yet will reward patient cellaring. View all Condado de Haza Wines
About Ribera del DueroView a map of Ribera del Duero wineries (rib-EHR-ah del dwehr-oh)
Notable FactsThe wines of Ribera del Duero are mainly red – white wines here are not exported or revered. The reds come primarily from a variation of Tempranillo, called Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais in this region. Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon are also used, but not so often. The best wines of the area are refreshing yet sturdy and complex, with an ability to age and mature gracefully.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.